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Critical Analysis - Research Paper Example

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‘Desiree’s Baby’: Critical Analysis The story ‘Desiree’s Baby’ by Kate Chopin is one that succeeds in showing the problems associated with racism. Evidently, the writer manages to convey the sufferings and pain associated with being a black or a mulatto in the society…
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Download file to see previous pages The first issue arises when the writer shows no issues associated with the black origin of Armand. To illustrate, the writer evidently points out that Armand had a ‘dark handsome face’ that did not disfigure. It is rather unsound to believe that Armand, in his entire lifetime, had no chance to know about his color, and that he never examined his skin color or compared it with the skin of others. Secondly, a man with such a strong and rather cruel personality did not seem aware about the race his mother belonged to. It is at the end of the story that he comes to know that his mother ‘who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery’. The intention here is very clear; Armand is destined to be portrayed as an irrational human being. In other words, instead of race, the writer is trying to give stress on gender. The second technical fault comes in the fact that despite his ‘dark’ face, Madame Valmonde had no problem in allowing their marriage. In addition, he had not loved her before, and he started loving her as if ‘stuck by a pistol shot’. Here, he decides to marry Desiree despite her obscure origin, and loves her blindly. Again as the child is born, He stops beating the black slaves he has. Thus, it becomes evident that Armand is presented as a cruel man who used to beat his slaves for no apparent reason. However, as Serafin, Bendixen point out, the birth of a child makes him give up his cruelty; and on the other hand, the female figures, despite his black complexion, started loving and trusting him blindly (188). The third point that hurts the reader is the fact that though Madame Valmonde and the nurse woman Zandrine immediately realize the fact that the child is black in complexion, both the parents; Armand and Desiree seem unaware of the color of the child until the child is three months old. It is rather irrational to believe that all other people except the child’s parents identified the issue. Here, again, the story loses its integrity by saying that Armand failed to identify the color of the child which is highly unlikely. For example, the moment Madame Valmonde sees the child she cries, “this is not the baby!” That means, she is totally surprised by the color of the baby. It is rather surprising that neither Armand nor Desiree could see this. However, for the sake of argument, one can say that while marrying a white woman, the purpose of Armand was to give birth to a white child that would ‘bear his name’. Here, one can make a rather reasonable assumption that though Armand was aware of his color and race, he married a white woman expecting a white boy. However, as he was disappointed by Desiree by giving birth to a black child instead, he loses all happiness. In the case of Desiree too, the negligence towards the color of the child she shows is surprising. Here, instead of claiming that she was unaware of the color, a better assumption would be that as she married a black man, she was expecting a black child. So, when the black child was born to a black father, she failed to see any dangers in it. In other words, she was unaware of the unreasonable ambitions of Armand. So, even when Madame Valmonde exclaims “this is not the baby” , Desiree believes the comment is about the growth of the child; not about the color. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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